Whether you’re planning your retirement or are already in that phase of life, you may be considering a move to a senior living community. Often the home where you raised a family or spent the last few decades no longer fits your lifestyle. Choosing a community that has the care and amenities you’re looking for is essential.
Unless you’re employed as a senior housing professional, it’s unlikely you’ll know the many terms you hear and read when starting your research. For example, two of the most searched terms about retirement are “assisted living” and “personal care” – what’s the difference? And which one is right for you? Let us walk you through some frequently asked questions about assisted living and personal care to help you understand and decide!
What Is Assisted Living?
In short, assisted living offers a residential setting for individuals who need help with daily care and access to medical services, but not as much as a nursing home provides.
To be licensed in Pennsylvania, an assisted living residence (ALR) must have licensed medical professionals on duty or on call at all times, allowing residents to “age in place” with the help of long-term care and skilled nursing. Additionally, from a construction perspective, ALRs must offer living units with kitchenettes and private bathrooms.
Does Medicaid pay for assisted living? In Pennsylvania, Medicaid programs do not typically cover assisted living costs. However, several Medicaid waiver programs can help cover the cost of some of the services an assisted living community provides. Learn more about eligibility requirements and how to apply here.
What Is Personal Care?
A personal care home monitors residents’ functioning and location daily, supervises nutrition and medication, provides transient medical care, and has the capacity for crisis intervention.
Unlike assisted living, a licensed personal care home (PCH) does not require round-the-clock skilled nursing care. If a resident does require more skilled nursing, it is likely offered at a nearby or on-campus health center. Living units have varying layouts, not requiring private kitchens and bathrooms but often having those same amenities and more.
Once again, there is no third-party reimbursement for personal care homes. Still, many PCHs accept residents of low income who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
In What Ways Are Assisted Living and Personal Care Services Alike?
There are many ways in which ALRs and PCHs are alike. Typically, overlapping services include:
- 24-hour supervision – facilities are monitored by trained professionals and approved systems.
- Dining – three daily meals are prepared, often served in a shared dining space.
- Personal care support – help with bathing, dressing, toileting, etc.
- Medication – management or assistance with self-administration of any required medicine.
- Recreational and wellness programs – shared activities on or off-site to support the physical, social, and mental well-being of residents.
- Housekeeping – laundry and linen service, maintenance as needed.
Beyond the facility’s construction requirements and amenities, medical care is typically the primary difference between assisted living and personal care that determines which is best for you. Whereas assisted living offers access to a registered nursing professional at all times, a personal care facility is not required to offer this. In PA, a facility may apply for a dual license, allowing an ALR and PCH to be co-located within a building.
Is Meadowood An Assisted Living or Personal Care Facility?
Meadowood is unique because we provide both an array of residential living options as well as an on-site health center with multiple levels of care. Because you have personalized health situations and personal preferences, as a resident of Meadowood, you have access to:
- Personal Care – Laurel House is an award-winning, licensed PCH offering assistance with daily activities and housekeeping under the care of a licensed administrator and nursing professionals. Other services include case management and companion services for medical or recreational events, as requested.
- Skilled Nursing – Holly House provides compassionate Skilled Nursing services for individuals who are temporarily or permanently in need of 24-hour health care services. Our licensed Skilled Nursing staff works with residents, their families, and the rest of our team to develop individualized care plans that meet the needs of each person they serve.
- Rehabilitation – Holly House also offers skilled rehabilitation and short-term stays after a hospital stay, surgery, or illness. A variety of rehabilitation services are available to carry out the orders of residents’ physicians, including physical, occupational, and speech therapies.
- Memory Care – McLean Memory Care is a recently expanded homelike setting designed to provide personalized care to people living with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. Our trained staff understands the needs of individuals requiring Memory Care support, and our Memory Care program focuses on each resident’s specific interests and physical and cognitive abilities.
So, while not licensed as an assisted living facility, Meadowood is a life plan community offering personal care facilities and services, created to allow our residents to age in place. Residents who tap into these enhanced medical care services are still encouraged to participate in community-wide events as they’re able.
Is Meadowood Right for You?
At Meadowood, we understand the costs of independent living. We are pleased to offer personal care services and other tiered lifestyle and healthcare options on one campus, allowing you to transition if and when you need it.
Worried you’ll run out of money? Meadowood is also a nonprofit, so once you qualify for our community financially and medically, if you outpace your retirement fund through no fault of your own, we offer a Benevolence Fund process that allows us to keep you in our community.
Want to learn more about personal care and living at Meadowood? Request a brochure today.